Many of us probably remember making puffy tissue paper crafts as kids. Here we’ve taken that classic kids craft and reimagined it as a way to help introduce your kids to the concept of Ek Onkar, for Day One of our 13 Days of Vaisakhi Countdown. We originally did this craft with glitter some years ago, but that can get quite messy for littles, so this version might be easier to try with toddlers.
Note: crafts with religious symbols on them should always be treated with utmost respect. Make sure that you are only printing what you need, and working in a clean environment. Such crafts should also be stored in well-kept clean spaces.
What is Ek Onkar?
Ek Onkar is a Gurmukhi word that means “There is only one God”, as “ek” refers to the number one and “onkar” means God, or Vaheguru. It is an important part of the Sikh faith and a strong belief for Sikhs everywhere. Ek Onkar are the first words of the mool mantar, which is the first line of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Conversation Starters with Kids
- To get your kids curious about Ek Onkar, ask them where they might have seen the symbol in their everyday life.
- You can also try and get them to draw out the symbol a few times, just to get the hang of it. That way, when they see the symbol, they’ll know what they’re looking at and what it means.
- If you’d want to take it a step further, you can also chat with your kids about what they think “there is only one God” means. How do they feel about other Gods and religious beliefs?
- Are they comfortable using Vaheguru in place of God? Do they feel that both are the same?
What is Vaheguru?
In Sikhi, the word for God is Vaheguru. When broken down, the word has two words in it, which are wondrous and teacher or guide. The word Vaheguru comes up often in Sikhi, like in the Guru Granth Sahib and in other paats, like the Japji Sahib, Kirtan Sohila, and Rehras Sahib. Many people chat the word Vaheguru as well when they are meditating, or doing simran. It is suggested that connecting with the word Vaheguru and saying it to yourself or in community can foster a deeper connection with God.
- Card stock with Ek Onkar printed on it. You can either download a sheet HERE or draw it out by hand.
- Coloured tissue paper in your choice of colours cut into 1×1 squares (start with about 4 sheets of tissue and cut more as needed)
- White glue
- Pencil for creating tissue paper flowers
- Start by cutting or tearing tissue paper squares into squares
- Place a pencil (eraser side down) in the centre of a tissue paper square and wrap it around the pencil eraser.
- Dip the tissue paper flower into some white glue, and then press the flower down onto the Ek Onkar symbol.
- Continue, alternating colours until your entire Ek Onkar is covered.